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The productive scientific career of Charles Pedersen (October 3, 1904–October 26, 1989)

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Abstract

Charles Pedersen's career is reviewed from the time of his early life in Korea and Japan and scientific training in the United States to the present. His 42-year research career was practically and scientifically productive, leading finally to a share of the Nobel prize in chemistry for 1987. Commercially significant accomplishments included a large improvement in the yield of tetraethylead antiknock and discovery of the first oil soluble agents for inhibiting catalytic effects of copper in degradation of petroleum products and rubber. This led to a study of the interactions of metals with chelating agents and the resultant effects on oxidation reactions, thence to the behavior of peroxides and their reactions with substrates. He also discovered the antiknock activity of ferrocene. While studying the effects of ligands on the catalytic behavior of vanadium he discovered the crown compounds and their ability to include alkali metal ions. He devoted the last years of his career to elaborating their chemistry.

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References

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Additional information

Taken in part with permission fromCurrent Topics in Macrocyclic Chemistry in Japan, E. Kimura (ed.), Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Hiroshima, 1987.

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Schroeder, H.E. The productive scientific career of Charles Pedersen (October 3, 1904–October 26, 1989). J Incl Phenom Macrocycl Chem 12, 11–21 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01053853

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Key words

  • Charles Pedersen
  • 1987 Chemistry Nobel Prize
  • du Pont industrial chemist
  • oil soluble agents
  • ferrocene
  • crown compounds
  • alkali metal complexation